2:28 PM EDT
Steve Cohen, D-TN 9th

Mr. COHEN. I want to thank the chairman and the chairmen for the work they've done, and for the ranking member, on this bill.

I rise in support of H.R. 4279, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, or the PRO-IP Act.

Our Nation's intellectual property is the basis for our economic success and security. That is something that can't be undermined by cheap labor prices overseas. It's an American product. Therefore, protecting our intellectual property must be among our highest priorities.

In addition to undermining our global economic primacy, counterfeit and pirated products can threaten the health and safety of American consumers, American pet owners, steal income from legitimate businesses, deprive American workers of good jobs, and undermine the necessary incentive for innovation and creativity which has made America the great country that it is. It is for these reasons I'm an original cosponsor of the PRO-IP Act.

The PRO-IP Act will help strengthen enforcement of intellectual property rights domestically and internationally through enhanced criminal and civil penalties for intellectual property crimes, better high-level coordination among Federal Government agencies, and increased resources to domestic and foreign law enforcement authorities.

This bill, Mr. Speaker, rightfully enjoys broad support from a wide range of industries, including the entertainment, pharmaceutical, food, automobile parts and software industries. It has such diverse partners as the Chamber of Commerce and the Teamsters. When the Chamber of Commerce and the Teamsters come together it's like E.F. Hutton--we listen. We've listened well and need to pass this bill.

This coalition that supports PRO-IP is indicative of the broad support and the need for passage of such legislation. I urge my colleagues to heed the words and vote in favor of this important legislation.